PerspectiveClimate Change

Will Ocean Fertilization Work?

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Science  04 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5616, pp. 67-68
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082959

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Iron fertilization of the ocean is widely discussed as a possible strategy for extracting COfrom the atmosphere. In their Perspective, Buesseler and Boyd analyze the results from recent fertilization experiments in the Southern Ocean. They conclude that sequestration of 30% of the carbon released annually as a result of human activities would require a region more than an order of magnitude larger than the entire area of the Southern Ocean. Iron fertilization may not be a commercially attractive option if impacts on sequestration are as low as observed to date.